Snap Fitness Health & Fitness Blog

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25 Minute Stepmill Workout

By: Snap Fitness

 

The stepmill can be an intimidating machine, but if your gym has one, it is a machine you don't want to ignore.

 

It can torch as many calories as a steady jog, and is perfect for sculpting because it takes your legs and glutes through a full range of motion. 

 

Be sure you are choosing the stepmill, not a stair stepper. The stepmill is the one that looks like a moving staircase. If you do not have a stepmill in your gym, you can still apply the intervals below to a stair-stepper workout!

 

 

 

5 Fast Lunch Hour Exercises

By: Snap Fitness

 

This is a quick workout that hits each of your major body parts. Keep your rest time between sets below 30 seconds. 

 

For each exercise, complete 3 sets of 10-12 reps

 

1. Reverse lunge with dumbbell bicep curl (5-6 reps each leg)

 

 

2. Medicine Ball Pushup (5-6 reps each side)

 

 

3. Squat with bicep curl to shoulder press

 

 

4. Pull-ups or lat-pulldown

 

 

 

OR

 

 

5. Plank Row with tricep extension

 

 

Finish with 3 rounds of burpees, 30 seconds on, 30 seconds off

 

Take the workout with you!

 

Attacking Heart Health – A Three-Part Approach

By: Jodi Sussner, Director of Personal Training

When discussing heart health, most people think of cardiovascular exercise.  Did you know that nutrition, stress management, and cardiovascular training all affect heart health?  To tackle heart health, consider looking at your health from a balanced 3-part approach: 

 

1. Proper Diet

 

Nutrition:


Dietary changes to improve overall heart health include; a decreased consumption of high fat or processed meats, increased consumption of dark green leafy and cruciferous vegetables, and the inclusion of high quality, specifically mono-saturated, fats.  Diets high in these items work to decrease LDL (bad cholesterol), and increase HDL (good cholesterol).  Additionally, check with your doctor to get a baseline cholesterol level.   

 

Foods to include:

Lean meats – chicken, fish, turkey, and lean cuts of red meat

Vegetables – broccoli, cabbage, kale, and beets

Fruits – all citrus fruits and berries

Grains – Oats and brown rice

 

Hydration:

 

When you are properly hydrated, your cells can function at their best.  Proper cell hydration improves the flushing of fluids and waste products out of your system – free radicals and fatty acids within the blood stream specifically.  Make a goal to hydrate with at least ½ of your body weight in ounces each day.  This should include fresh, plain water without additional carbonation, artificial flavors or sweeteners.  

 

Supplements:

 

Omega-3 Fatty Acids – according to a study from the Mayo Clinic Medical Education and Research (MFMER) from 1998-2010 - can reduce cholesterol, blood pressure and the risk of blood clots.  Omega-3 fatty acids are a type of unsaturated fatty acid that is thought to reduce inflammation throughout the body. Overall, inflammation can damage your blood vessels and lead to heart disease.

 

They recommend eating one to two servings a week of fish, particularly fish that's rich in Omega-3 fatty acids or including an omega-3 supplement to your diet that contains at least 300mg daily.

 

Vitamin E – Vitamin E helps to neutralize free radicals and prevent heart disease because it acts as an antioxidant.  According to the Livestrong organization at livestrong.com, Vitamin E slows the process of plaque buildup in the arteries, which can lead to many heart problems. Foods that contain vitamin E include nuts, seeds and vegetable oil.  Or supplement with at least 600IU of Vitamin E daily.

 

Vitamin C - Vitamin C also prevents the activity of free radicals. According to NaturalNews.com,  Vitamin C helps to rebuild collagen which prevents damage in the arteries and decreases the chance of heart disease.  Choose citrus fruits that are high in Vitamin C (like oranges, mango, or grapefruit).  Or, supplement with at least 500mg daily. 

 

Vitamin D – It is well-known that North Americans don’t get enough Vitamin D each day.  As we spend more time indoors we lose the absorption of this important vitamin.  Plus, when we are eventually outdoors, we cover up with sun-blocking clothing and hats or use sunscreen to prevent sun damage.  Though good to prevent sun damage on the skin, the need to absorb Vitamin D is still crucial to preventing heart disease, increasing energy, and improving your mood.  Truestar Health recommends supplementing with at least 500 IU per day.

 

 

2. Stress Management

 

Stress increases cortisol levels within the body.  This increase in cortisol also promotes inflammation.  Increased Inflammation in the body forces the release of fatty acids into the blood stream.  The result is increased cholesterol and triglyceride levels.  Consider taking up a daily meditation practice or other mind/body disciplines like yoga or pilates as a way to manage stress and subsequent cortisol and inflammation.  We love the meditation support offered through Truestar Health – download and try some of our favorites here:  Travel Meditation with Truestar

 

 

3.  Cardiovascular Fitness

 

Though High Intensity Interval Training is the latest fitness craze, it is well-documented that consistent and moderate cardiovascular exercise is best for improving heart health and lowering blood pressure.  Consider a balanced approach to cardio that includes:  3-4 days/week using a variety of equipment options such as:  Stairstepper, elliptical, and treadmill - at the following intensities:

 

Steady State – Maintain the same moderate intensity heart rate throughout the entire duration of a 30-45 minute workout.  This intensity should make you winded to the point that you work up a sweat, and cannot sing a song but, could say a few sentences at a time in conversation. Do this 1x/week.

 

Low Intensity – Maintain a light intensity throughout the entire duration of a 60 minute workout.  For most people, this would include a long walk or an easy bike ride.  This intensity should allow you to speak easily to a friend, break a light sweat, and generally leave you feeling re-energized.  Do this 1-2x/week.

 

Anaerobic Intervals – Include bouts of high intensity mixed with lower intensity. You should establish an aerobic base before adding anaerobic intervals into your cardio mix.  It is recommended that you complete 2-4 weeks of steady state and low intensity workouts first (2-3 workouts/week for 2-4 weeks), before adding in anaerobic intervals.

 

An example of anaerobic intervals include; running for 1min, then walking for 1min.  Or, walking at a steep incline for 1 min. and then walking with no incline for 1 min.  During high intensity bouts, you should feel breathless and unable to speak a full sentence.  Use the easy interval to recover and get your heart rate back down to where you can speak 2-3 sentences in conversation. 

 

 

Looking to improve heart health and prevent heart disease takes a balanced approach.  The key is consistency and finding a way to make positive changes in all areas of nutrition, stress, and exercise.  Start in the areas that you can make the most immediate impact and add from there.  You will add years to your life and of course, life to your years!

Butt & Gut Workout

By: Jodi Sussner, Director of Personal Training

The Warm-up:

 

Select your favorite cardio machine and get your body loosened and blood flow moving for 5 minutes. The warm-up should increase your heart rate, but it should not leave you feeling fatigued.

 

The Workout:


Repeat the circuit below 4-5 times.

 

1. Squat jumps - 30 sec.

 

 

 

2. Walking lunges - 45 sec.

 

 

 

3. Back leg pulses - 30 sec. each side

 

 

4. Oblique twist - 45 sec.

 

 

5. Step throughs - 30 sec. each side

 

 

 

6. Glute bridge with march - 45 sec.

 

 

7. Elbow plank - 30 sec.

 

5 Yoga Moves to Perform After a Workout

By: Snap Fitness

As you may already know, stretching after a workout is not only an effective way to cool-down, but is also good for stiff muscles and joints. Leaving your body more relaxed and rejuvenated after pushing it to the limits.

 

There are many stretches that can be done, but none are as effective as doing a few easy yoga moves. Most people think that yoga isn’t for them, that it takes flexibility and balance, but in time yoga can actually assist in your overall fitness performance. In conjunction with a workout routine, yoga can be the missing piece to the puzzle. Not only does yoga provide strength in a whole new way, but also allows the body to take a break and breathe.

 

Grab a mat, take a moment to “stretch it out” with these 5 basic yoga moves.

 

Downward dog - This simple pose stretches out hamstrings, calf muscles, strengthens the core and shoulders while releasing tension in the upper and lower back,

 

Camel pose - This chest and heart opener is releasing tension in the lower back and neck joints.

 

 

A good modification for this posture is placing your hands on your hips leaning back slightly.

 

 

Another modifcation is placing only one hand on your ankle.

 

 

These modifcations help to support the spine while keeping your chest lifted and your lower back straight.

 

Standing Forward Fold - Release tension in the thighs and calf muscles. This posture also elongates the back and opens up the shoulder muscles. Great for runners and those weight training.

 

Legs up the wall pose - This pose helps to release tension in the lower back. Do you have sore legs or poor circulation? Then legs up the wall pose is for you!

 

 

Tree pose - Effective for stretching out the legs, back and arms, and also challenges balance.

 

These postures are not only beneficial after a workout, but also can aid in better sleep, digestion, and over-all mood. Next time you hit the gym, try taking a few extra minutes after your workout to go through these basic yoga postures. Your body will thank you tomorrow!

5 Minute Treadmill Blocks Workout

By: Jodi Sussner, Director of Personal Training

This treadmill workout improves cardiovascular fitness and improves speed on hills and flats – perfect for anyone looking to improve pace for an upcoming race or just decrease the boredom of treadmill work.

 

The Workout:

 

5 min. easy warmup

 

1 min. –  jog at 0% incline

2 min. – jog at 3-5% incline

1 min. – sprint at 0% incline

1 min. – easy walk

 

Repeat this 5 min. interval 4-6 times for a 20-30 min. workout

 

Bonus: For each 2 min. interval (hill), increase the incline .5-1% each time!

Snap Workout: TABATA

By: Snap Fitness

You might be wondering, what is Tabata?  Tabata is a type of high-intensity training that moves very quickly. You perform an exercise at full intensity for 20 seconds, then rest for 10 second. You repeat the pattern for a total of 8 times. One Tabata round will take 4 minutes.

 

Note: This type of workout is for the more advanced. For beginners, start with just 1-2 rounds and build your endurance up. Anyone with preexisting cardiovascular conditions should consult with a doctor first. 

 

The Warm-up:

 

Select your favorite cardio machine and get your body loosened and blood flow moving for 5 minutes. The warm-up should increase your heart rate, but it should not leave you feeling fatigued.

 

 

The Workout:

 

Perform each exercise at full intensity for 20 seconds then rest for 10 seconds.

Repeat the pattern for a total of 8 times, then move to the next exercise.

 

1. Mountain Climbers

 

Rest 1 minute

 

2. Dumbbell Squat with a Bicep Curl into a Shoulder Press

 

Rest 1 minute

 

3. Jump Squats

 

Rest 1 minute

 

4. Dumbbell Plank Row (renegade row)

 

Rest 1 minute

 

5. Lateral Lunge to Row

 

Rest 1 minute

 

6. Jump lunges

 

 

The Cool-Down:

 

End your workout routine with stretching exercises for 3-5 minutes

Cable Machine Upper Body Workout

By: Snap Fitness

Don’t let the cable machine intimidate you! This is a versatile machine that gives you the ability to perform a full body workout.  To help get you started, take a look at this Upper Body Workout. Keep moving in-between sets with a 30 second cardio burst.

 

The Warm-up:

 

Select your favorite cardio machine and get your body loosened and blood flow moving for 5 minutes. The warm-up should increase your heart rate, but it should not leave you feeling fatigued.

 

The Workout:

 

1a. Cable Flyes: 3 sets 12-15 reps

1b. 30 seconds jumping jacks

 

2a. Bent-Over Rows: 3 sets 12-15 reps

2b. 30 seconds jumping lunges

 

3a. Axe Chop: 3 sets 12-15 reps

3b.  30 seconds burpees

 

4a. Bicep Curl: 3 sets 12-15 reps

4b.  30 seconds body weight squats

 

5a. Cable Pull-Downs: 3 sets 12-15 reps

5b. 30 seconds Mountain Climbers

 

The Cool-Down:

 

End your workout routine with stretching exercises for 3-5 minutes

 

 

 

Lunch Hour Elliptical Workout

By: Snap Fitness

 

Get a boost of energy during your workday with this 15 minute elliptical workout.

 

Not only does working out during the workday boost your energy, it also boosts your mood and helps reduce stress!

 

This workout will maximize your time on the elliptical during your precious lunch hour.

 

If the workout is too hard, try decreasing the resistance, and if it is too easy for you, increase your resistance.

 

Have fun! 

 

The ONLY Sets and Reps You Will Ever Need

By: Jodi Sussner, Director of Personal Training

Ever feel like fitness advice is one size fits all (somewhat like the title of this blog?) and that health magazines, fitness columns and professionals give the same advice to everyone? 

 

As a fitness professional with nearly 20 years of experience, I can relate.  You see, it’s impossible to know where someone is physically, how much time and commitment they have toward their fitness goals, and if they are emotionally ready to make the change.  Because of that, fitness professionals like myself often give the “safe” answer and one that will accommodate most people. 

 

Knowing that, here are some things that you can do to get the best possible answers to your fitness questions:

 

1. Seek out a fitness professional in your area – Most fitness professionals will need to assess where you are at, talk to you in person get to know who you are andwhat your goals are, so that they can create a plan to help you achieve them.  Take advantage of the many resources available at your local Snap Fitness; the club owner, manager or personal trainers. I am also here as a resource during our monthly Facebook chats and on my Facebook page.

 

2. Be specific about your goals – having a goal to lose weight is simple enough, but make it more specific than that. How much weight do you want to lose? When do you want to lose it by? How much time and commitment do you have to put toward meeting your goal?

 

3. Educate yourself on reps and sets based on your goal. Here is an example:

 

 

 

Clearly there isn’t ONE repetition range for all people and all goals.  Think about what you want to achieve and use this as your guide.  Ultimately, you will find what works for you as an individual and excel from there one goal at a time.  

Posts 31 - 40 of 128